WELLNESS All Featured Articles

Featured Article, May 2012: Headaches and Chriopractic

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.

A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.

Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.

Headache Triggers:
Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems.

Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.

“The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck,” says Dr. George B. McClelland, a doctor of chiropractic from Christiansburg, VA. “Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.”

What Can You Do?
The ACA suggests the following:
■If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
■Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
■Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
■Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?
Dr. McClelland says your doctor of chiropractic may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:
■Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
■Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
■Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Featured Article, January 2012: Signs You May Have Nervous System Interference

MUSCLE ASYMMETRY: You find that you have over or underdeveloped musculature from side to side. Split into two halves, you body should look like a mirror image. If not, this is a sign of muscle atrophy or hypertrophy. PAIN: Known as Nociception, pain signals overtake and bombard the Nervous System, taking away focus on the action of muscle, organ, or tissue, predisposing it to either injury or insult.

POOR POSTURE: Your body has learned to compensate for mechanical stressors that it cannot handle. Known as Wolff’s Law and the viscoelastic properties of soft tissue, mechanical stress strains joints and soft tissue structures, and make the body unstable.

POOR BALANCE: Known as Proprioception. This is lack of coordination around a joint or series of joints due to and lack of nerve impulse to that area from insufficient stimulation, artificial stability such as weight belts and straps, or injury.

WEAKNESS: Any type of weakness in a muscle is a sign of decreased nerve impulse to that particular muscle.

Featured Article, September 2011: Headaches

Headaches are a common ailment suffered by many people. There are a wide variety of headaches from Sinus to Migraine. Most of the time, people revert to over the counter medication or expensive tests to find the cause of their headaches with no avail.

In the upper cervical spine (neck) there is a dense bundle of nerves and muscles, which when they become stressed, will cause headaches. So what is stress? 1.) Physical Stress: Misalignment in the spine is a common cause of headaches. Also, your head is the same weight as a bowling ball. If you carry your head forward of your shoulders, we call this Forward Head Posture, and will cause major stress. Think about the stress on your arm if you were to hold a bowling ball out in front of your body all day long! This is the same as sitting at a desk or driving in the car several hours a day with Forward Head Posture. 2.) Chemical Stress: There is either something inside your body that is doesn’t like (toxicity) , or it doesn’t have something that it wants (deficiency). Your body will let you know in form of symptoms such as a headache. This is common with Migraines. 3.) Emotional Stress: No explanation needed here, this is life.

Is it practical then to eliminate Physical, Chemical, and Emotional stress completely? The simple answer is No. HOW you MANAGE these stressors is the key I will identify the cause and help you get back to living your life pain-free. to alleviating headaches. As a chiropractor, I help you to identify your stressors, provide relief, and then educate you on how to prevent the headaches from coming back. In doing so, the patient can get back to their normal life, with less stress, and pain-free.

If you or someone you love is suffering from headaches, there is help. I will identify the cause and help you get back to living your life pain-free. Call me at 317.842.1188 to schedule your FREE Consultation today.

Featured Article, June 2011: Are you Healthy? How do you Know?

How we define health ultimately decide how will we live our lives from here on out. Usually, when I ask the question, “Are you healthy, How do you Know?”, I get the answer “Yes, I FEEL GOOD most of the time.” This mentality folks is a major health issue to day. The notion that FEELING GOOD=Health.How Does the idea of NOT GETTING SICK, NOT HAVING PAIN, NOT HAVING CRISIS, and instead PREVENTION sound?

Let me ask you this. Most people wait until they feel symptoms or have a crisis to seek help, begin dieting/exercising, right?…When in all reality, this problem has been accumulating little by little over a long period of time, eg: cancer, heart attack, pain.

NEWS FLASH: This didn’t just happen through bad genes or bad luck. The traditional response is to make an appointment with your medical doctor, who writes you a perscription to help the symptoms, and you don’t see them again unil the next crisis. Sound Familiar?

The “Alternative” to modern medicine, meaning Wellness Healthcare, in today’s society, is no longer the alternative, but the solution. Doctors of Chiropratic have been teaching and treating with this wellness model for a hundred years.

Are you Healthy? How do you Know?